Although Bournemouth took the game to Liverpool last time out, it always looked like it would go the way of the league leaders and that defeat has left even more pressure on Eddie Howe’s men.
They currently sit level on points with both Watford and West Ham, though due to their goal difference, they hold the final relegation spot and they’ll be desperate to snatch some points this weekend.
Meanwhile, Palace looked to be in some trouble after a poor run of fixtures earlier this year, but appear much more comfortable now with a 12-point cushion over their hosts.
Across all competitions, the Eagles went on a run of eight winless games between late December and early February following their Boxing Day victory over West Ham, which certainly concerned the fans with the drop zone looming.
However, three straight 1-0 victories over Newcastle, Brighton and Watford has seen them pretty much secure their safety for this campaign and they should be able to express themselves now.
For all their troubles, the Cherries have in fact started to put together some results at Vitality Stadium. Since Christmas Day they’ve managed to go W3-D2-L2 from their seven outings here in all tournaments, as they held both Arsenal and Chelsea to stalemates, whilst beating the likes of Championship outfit Luton (4-0) in the FA Cup as well as Brighton (3-1) and Villa (2-1) in the league.
In fact, in the top flight alone they’re unbeaten since mid-January, but their victories have come against the weaker sides and they have the joint- fewest home wins this term, so it isn’t exactly breath-taking form either.
Bournemouth +1 Handicap Draw
Only five teams have lost fewer games than Palace away from home this term though, such has been the discipline and defensive resolve of Roy Hodgson’s tactics.
Furthermore, only three teams have seen fewer goals per game on their travels too, as they tend to grind out their results than go after their opposition and they’re unlikely to change that under Roy Hodgson just because they’re safe.
Only defeats to Spurs, Chelsea and Everton and a 2-0 victory over Burnley from their 14 trips this term have seen more than a single goal separate the sides, while eight of their 10 victories at all venues have come by an exact one-goal margin, as they’re yet to net more than two goals in a single outing all season.
These two sides have finished all square in two of their last five, with Palace claiming the recent bragging rights with victories in the last two, both of which were at Selhurst Park.
Considering the treatment room is filling up again on the south coast with Steve Cook, Josh King and Philip Billing doubts for this fixture, it could be a hat-trick of victories for the visitors.
Bournemouth have lost 75% of the 16 matches King has missed since the start of last season, a 30% increase compared to the 51 he’s started, but with just four of the 16 matches seeing them go down by more than one goal, we doubt Palace are going to have a field day.
ALL ABOVE PRICES ARE CORRECT AS OF 08:30 12/03/2020 AND ARE SUBJECT TO FLUCTUATIONS
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